No, hate is a word I hate.
I dislike and question the drive thru.
I love my occasional "Four Bucks" and the odd "Double/double" at the local "Timmy's" But why on God's Brown and grey (used to be green but the drive thru is changing the colour) earth, do we have to line up like lemmings in our automobiles, whilst spewing out the toxic fumes like we were doing the world a favor by not getting out of our cars and walking in to spend our hard earned four bucks on a cup of hot foam?
I am challenged in the respect that speakers in these systems sound foreign in language to this cochlear challenged guy, and on occasion when the wind and rain team up with the "no parking" in the lot, I have done the deed, and driven to the oh so friendly speaker and heard:
"Mey si make your odour plans?"
"Yes, triple grande latte, one raw sugar"
"wood you lake anybing self wid dat?"
"No that's all
"that bums do spew dolls hairs and iffy spine lents. Please live to the sepent widow"
I know what the drill is, and I also know that they probably asked me a few other things to keep their shift supervisor happy. Perhaps wondering if I wanted to spend a few more shekels on a lovely biscotti. But I know what biscotti means: "Twice baked" So twice the price.
Look it up!
So we are lazy at best, because if we were in a "hurry" we would park and run in and grab and go. This of course all falls apart because the owners of these establishments put the "A" team, and plenty of them on drive thru detail, and then challenge them with timers and the history of each hour.
A photocopy that I saw in a "Red Robbin" in Thunder Bay last week
"October 3rd 2006 was our best shift ever! 284 vehicles served in the 7 to 9 am time, with an average serve time of 29 seconds per transaction. Can we beat that today gang?"
Now I park (farthest away) and wander in to the shop for many reasons:
- I like to walk. I spent 100 days in a hospital bed, another 30 with a walker and/or wheel chair, then the next 90 with a cane. This from a guy who ran two half marathons in 2004 and 2006, then had a medical 9/11 in 2007.
- Fresh air in me lungs feels good, and I take it whenever I can.
- The sound quality on a speaker is built for the 90% percent of the population who hear quite fine thank you very much. The 3 million Canadians, and thirty odd million Americans who are deaf or Deaf have no use for drive thru's! I am deaf.
- I am also cheap. Burning fuel at $1 a liter of Alberta tea, sucks quite frankly. While one sits in a line to spend $4 on a "FourBucks" I know, I know why the contradiction. Well I treat myself and indulge in an overpriced but lovely foamy frothy drink.
- I like people: I am in a space at this point in my life where I like to see face, see a smile, make a smile, tell the person to enjoy the day, eat it up, live it to it's fullest. I like to effect the day!
- Exercise is good! I park as far away as I can to get the tiny extra benefit that a brisk walk offers.
- For almost 10 months before being implanted with my Cochlear Implant, I lived in complete and profound silence. What I missed the most was one-on-one human conversation. In my hearing days prior to deafness, I took sound and conversation for granted. I traveled life at the speed of life. I never want to take the wonderful world of one-on-one human interaction for granted again!
My beef is that I stand in a small line while ONE nice lady tends to us, while a team of nine young fast bucks try to smash the old drive thru record of 18 seconds per vehicle. God forbid if I order a toasted bagel, the young brash 17 year old will break my servers elderly bones if she attempts to put a bagel in ahead of the 287 cars that NEED to get in and get out!
So what happened?
Why did life get so busy and so important that we can't leave our cars and enjoy the day, say hello to a live face, interact with others in line and live a life that is in real time?
We claim to be good denizens and caretakers of the planet. Just see how much we recycle.
But we can't leave our cars to do us good, other good, and leave a little smaller footprint?
Interact and leave a smile or get a smile?
There is the odd but occasional gloomy start to the day that began with life's usual fast and furious morning rituals, but has chaos and mayhem thrown at us.
Can't find wallet, realize shirt has stain on it, running ten minutes late due to looking for Guitar Boys permission slip to sign for school, no stamps in house to mail overdue payments...you get the picture.
It is no mistake that on these occasions that I feel the need for two things: More caffeine and a warm human smile that is genuine, sincere, and from the heart.
I get this fix from a few places where kind warm souls offer both, and I get the odd wonderful conversation in the line with other good souls who think a bit like me.
You can't get the second part of my equation from a speaker, and a face at the window that is more concerned with speed and serving the person they are talking to through their mic system, then paying heed to my concerns or the day I may or may not have.
The smile and "have a wonderful day" I get live and in person from a "counter" person (and yes they are human and have life"s, and I ask them about their life's if I get the chance. The response to my sincere inquiry is amazingly wonderful) seems to be indeed sincere and well intended, lift my gloom for hours and hours. Where as a drive thru can dampen and frustrate and do more harm to all creatures great and small that no amount of caffeine can ever repair.
I am not naive to believe that the drive thru's will ever be gone, but I am hopeful enough that there are many of us that might do the park and walk thing once a month, and graduate to once a week.
After changing (I love that word change!) some habits a bit and realizing that the smiles and human interactions make a difference. And the planet and our physical selves can get better, step by baby step; perhaps one day many of us may do what I do: Park and walk most days, and occasionally (sheets of freezing rain coming down on my Fourbucks parking lot) do the drive through.
Can we move the world a millimeter to the good by picking one day a month, and get out of our cars?